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Happy New Year from Lyn

The last school term brought its range of news stories. What was your reaction to the new National Curriculum, SEND reform and the workload of teacher's? Lyn's New Year resolutions relates to her reaction to these news stories. 

One of my New Year resolutions is to refrain from reacting solipsistically when I read the educational press.

My last post recounted how disappointed I was to learn that school exchange visits are on the decline because it means fewer teachers will be needing supply cover (click here to read). Only afterwards did I contemplate the implications for the learning of foreign languages and the broadening of students' cultural horizons.

Then, in December I read that there is a recruitment crisis in schools. What was my immediate reaction? That this is dreadful for pupils who are not being taught by subject specialists? Nope. It was 'Yippee', more work for us supply teachers. Seconds later I realised how shameful this was and hence my New Year resolution.

The concerns about recruitment came as a result of a survey by the Association of School and College Leaders (who should know). They maintain that shortages are due to the changes in teacher training, the expanding pupil population and an expanding economy where graduates are being attracted to other professions. They add that the problem is exacerbated by workload, high-pressure accountability and the demands of Ofsted and the government.

So it does look as if my reaction to the news may have been right in practical if not moral terms and supply teachers may will be plugging the gaps.

Many of the supply teachers I come across have jumped ship and taken a massive cut in pay because of the workload, the pressure and Ofsted. They will be going into schools to provide a stop-gap second-class experience when they could be there providing a first-class experience. I despair.

What are you reasons for being a supply teacher? We would like to speak to you about your reasons. Email Megan ( for more information.

Tags: Lyn, Bristol, Secondary, supply

Category: Australian Teachers

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